UCLA, Stanford face off with quick rematch looming


UCLA, Stanford face off with quick rematch looming

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) UCLA and Stanford couldn't really be blamed for looking back or looking ahead right about now.

The Bruins and Cardinal insist they're only looking at each other.

Both schools are basking in the glow of thrilling victories that would have been appropriate caps to their strong seasons. Instead, two teams on dynamic five-game winning streaks still must face each other at the Rose Bowl on Saturday - and possibly again next week in the Pac-12 title game.

``We can't worry about next week,'' Stanford coach David Shaw said. ``Right now, we've got one game this week. If we play it and play it well enough, we'll earn another one, and we'll deal with that if that happens. But for right now, we have one game that we're all concentrating on.''

Both California institutions are on rolls heading into a meeting that could be a dress rehearsal for the Pac-12 title game six days later. No. 15 UCLA (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) clinched the Pac-12 South title by blasting Southern California last weekend, while No. 11 Stanford (9-2, 7-1) moved to the brink of its own chance to play for the league title by stunning Oregon.

The Cardinal can clinch the North with a victory over the Bruins in Pasadena, or a loss by Oregon in the Civil War against Oregon State. If Stanford and Oregon both lose Saturday, UCLA would even host the title game - a remarkable development for Los Angeles' new pre-eminent football power after knocking off the Trojans.

While the Cardinal have been a top team for a few years now, the Bruins appear to be adjusting well to higher expectations and bigger goals, such as an upset win over the school that played in the Orange and Fiesta bowls in the past two seasons.

``I don't know how many of these guys read the papers,'' UCLA coach Jim Mora said. I think that they just are looking forward to the challenge. They know that this is a very good football team. It's pretty common knowledge. When a Top-10 team comes to your town, to your stadium, they'd better get your attention.''

Neither coach is having much trouble getting his team motivated these days - not with a BCS berth up for grabs after the stumble by Oregon, which had dominated the conference until last week. Stanford took care of the Ducks with a historically impressive defensive performance - and UCLA didn't even have to play Oregon this season.

Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov sees the game in black-and-white terms regarding the Cardinal's aspirations for a Pac-12 title, even if reality includes several shades of grey.

``We've had one goal in our mind since the season started,'' said Skov, who made 10 tackles against Oregon. ``This week is literally all that matters if we want to get there. Everything we wanted to do this year is dependent upon winning this week. So we'll be ready, and hopefully it'll be a great football game.''

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan will have difficulty topping his first two career starts, beating Oregon State and Oregon in consecutive games. Facing a ranked opponent for the third time, Hogan is hoping to keep following the path of Andrew Luck, who beat UCLA in each of the past three seasons.

Hogan hasn't spent much time considering the oddness of this possible two-game series between UCLA and Stanford.

``I guess it is rare,'' he said. ``I don't know how many times that happens. But coaches are going to get us prepared, so we're just going to watch film, study them - and we've got to get this game first. We've got to play well this game before we can look ahead to anything else.''

Hogan has less experience than Brett Hundley, who concludes his outstanding freshman regular season with his first look at Stanford's imposing defense. Hundley is closing in on Cade McNown's single-season school records for yards passing and total offense, but he's aware the Bruins' biggest challenges still loom in their final three games.

``I tell all the receivers, `Just give me the effort and I'll put the ball where it needs to be,''' said Hundley, who has 11 touchdown passes and three rushing scores in the past four games. ``I told all of them they're going to be a vital part of this offense. Everybody that's contributing and getting on the field in this offense, everybody is doing what they need to do.''


AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez in Stanford, Calif., contributed to this report.

Quick Links

Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did


Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

The first round of the NBA Draft played out expectedly for what the Wizards had planned for the night. In Troy Brown, they clearly got the guy they wanted all along, seeing as there were many interesting prospects they passed on to choose him.

The second round was a bit more chaotic. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said there were a few players picked just ahead of them at No. 44 that they had their eyes on. They contemplated trading up, but no perfect deals were presented.

So, they decided to think long-term, like really long-term. In choosing Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon, the Wizards understand it may be years before he plays in the NBA.

"We hope to have him developed in a few years," Grunfeld said.

Sanon, just 18, plays for Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia. He may stay in Europe into his 20s before he comes to the United States.

The Wizards have utilized the draft-and-stash model with other players. Their 2015 second round pick, Aaron White, has been playing in Europe for the past three seasons.

Sometimes those players never convey and contribute for the Wizards. But sometimes they do and Grunfeld pointed to a player already on their roster as a model to consider.

"We drafted Tomas [Satoransky] at an earlier age, he went overseas [and] he played at the highest level and it got him ready for the NBA," Grunfeld said.

The difference between now and then is that the Wizards have a G-League franchise starting this fall, the Capital City Go-Go. Because of that, it seemed more likely going into the draft that the Wizards would use the second round pick on a guy who can play there right away. 

Grunfeld, however, opted for roster flexibility. By keeping Sanon in Europe, the Wizards can have another open roster spot. They could either fill that spot, or leave spots on the end of their roster open as they did for much of last season.

"We want to preserve a roster spot, so just because you draft someone in your second round, if you sign him, he still has a roster spot even if you let him play for the GoGo," Grunfeld said.

Sanon may have a bright future. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with impressive athleticism who doesn't turn 19 until October. He said he models his game after Russell Westbrook, as a guard who can score the ball.

The Wizards passed on several interesting prospects to pick Sanon. Still on the board were Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky and Svi Mykhailiuk of Kansas, three players they brought in for pre-draft workouts. But instead, they went with a long-term investment, hoping they found the next Satoransky.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Capitals Draft Tracker


Capitals Draft Tracker

The 2018 NHL Draft starts on Friday with the first round and runs through Saturday. Here's a running tracker of the Caps' picks.

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.

6th round, 186th overall: 

7th round, 217th overall: